HAP Resource Center

Webinar: Accessing the $2 trillion Recovery Fund for COVID-19: How to prepare your organization for FEMA Disaster Declaration Reimbursement

COVID-19 implementation and design strategies to integrate federal funding applications with insurance and local resources to maximize the recovery budget

As part of President Trump’s emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was directed to assist eligible entities, including hospitals, with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public. As part of that assistance, eligible emergency protective measures taken at the direction or guidance of public health officials could be reimbursed under Category B of the FEMA Public Assistance program.

A recent HAP webinar highlights first steps for members in need of a plan for FEMA reimbursements, how to prepare your hospital, and the most common mistake that organizations make in this process and how to avoid it.

Key takeaways and HAP guidance:

  • FEMA recently extended indefinitely the deadline to submit the initial Request for Public Assistance application (RPA). FEMA will accept RPAs for 30 days after the end of the declaration of the Public Health Emergency. It is important to note that there is some overlap in HHS funding and FEMA funding for COVID-19 expenses, however, FEMA must be the payer of last resort
  • Establishing an initial applicant account and submitting a completed RPA can be completed through FEMA’s online portal; however, non-profit hospitals and health systems must first reach out to their local Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) representative so a FEMA-required verification of non-profit status can be completed  
  • PEMA set up a SURVEY123 for initial contact with potential applicants. Many Public Non-profit Health Care Institutions (HCI) have already submitted their information into the survey. If your HCI has not yet made initial entry into the survey you can access it online  
  • Hospitals should immediately begin tracking all their expenses; although there are some uncertainties related to the scope of eligible costs/expenses, webinar faculty advised hospitals to be over-inclusive in the tracking of COVID-19-related costs to ensure your organization receives as much reimbursement as possible
  • PEMA’s guidance is for HCIs to sign-up for and track HHS COVID-19 grants, and plan for those HHS grants to be their primary funding source.  FEMA must be the payer of last resort and can only reimburse for certain expenses that could not be covered by HHS funding

Links to the webinar recording and other helpful documents are listed below:



Topics: Emergency Preparedness

Revision Date: 4/9/2020

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